For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 
Contact: 

Mariya Parodi, media@aiusa.org

Amnesty International USA, Human Rights Groups Call for Closure of Guantánamo Prison on 18th Anniversary

Hundreds of activists will protest in front of the White House on January 11 to demand an end to years of torture and human rights violations.

WASHINGTON - This Saturday, January 11th, from 1 PM - 3 PM ET, on the 18th anniversary of the opening of the United States detention camp at Guantánamo Bay, Amnesty International USA and a dozen other human rights organizations will call on the United States government to close the prison and put an end to years of human rights violations. 

"Three United States Presidents have overseen Guantanamo during its shameful 18-year existence, yet it continues to remain open as people who have never been granted a trial are still detained and as they age and face the prospect of spending the rest of their lives in the prison, dying far away from the families and loved ones they have not seen in years” said Daphne Eviatar, the director of the Security With Human Rights program at Amnesty International USA. "It is well past time that Guantanamo close once and for all and all the men who have long ago been cleared for release are transferred to countries that have agreed to accept them."

During the D.C. action, activists will wear orange jumpsuits and black hoods to symbolize the hundreds of detainees who have been imprisoned in Guantánamo. A funeral procession beginning at the White House will end at the Trump hotel, with organizers carrying nine coffins representing the nine individuals who have died at the prison.

Guantánamo currently holds 40 individuals: all Muslim men, many of whom were tortured in the camp. Several detainees are experiencing health problems as a result of years of detention and instances of torture and other ill-treatment. Some remain detained despite having been cleared for transfer for years. This includes Toffiq al-Bihani, who has been imprisoned for eight years without trial. Amnesty International USA has long advocated for his release and postcards about his case will be distributed for bystanders to send to the Defense Department. The prison remains indefinitely open based on an executive order signed by President Trump.

WHO: Amnesty International USA, Witness Against Torture, Defending Rights & Dissent, Center for Constitutional Rights, CAIR, September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, the World Can’t Wait, CODEPINK: Women for Peace, National Religious Campaign Against Torture, Close Guantanamo, Tsuru for Solidarity, and Justice for Muslims Collective.

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WHAT: Justice Now | Close Guantánamo & End Torture Rally 

WHEN: Saturday, January 11th; 1- 3 PM ET

WHERE: Lafayette Park, The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, D.C. 20500

For further information, or to schedule an interview with Daphne Eviatar, the director of the Security With Human Rights program at Amnesty International USA who will be speaking at the event, contact Mariya Parodi at media@aiusa.org.

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Amnesty International is a global movement of millions of people demanding human rights for all people – no matter who they are or where they are. We are the world’s largest grassroots human rights organization.

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